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Professors honoured

Professors honoured

Maitland Cottage Hospital has honoured two professors, who worked at the hospital for about 60 years collectively, during a plaque unveiling ceremony.

Professor Teddie Hoffman and Professor Lewis Sparks were the guests of honour at the ceremony on Friday June 14, when staff, family and friends acknowledged the difference they had made in many children’s lives over the years.

Two of the hospital’s wings have been renamed after the professors.

Maitland Cottage Hospital is a dedicated paediatric orthopaedic hospital which specialises in the medical and surgical treatment of children with physical disability due to disease or accident.

Professor Sparks worked as a paediatric orthopaedic surgeon at the hospital for about 40 years, before retiring in 2016.

He predominantly, but not exclusively, presided over the care of children with cerebral palsy and had regular clinics at the regional schools for disabled children as well as Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital.

Paediatric orthopaedic surgeon Dr Anria Horn said Dr Sparks was a gifted surgeon who generally understated his acumen, but was widely respected by trainees and colleagues alike. He was also an avid researcher and wrote some seminal papers.

“His dedication to his patients is made evident by the fact that he only retired at the age of 77 once a willing and able surgeon was found to replace him and carry on his work,” she said.

Professor Sparks said his time at the hospital had been one he would cherish – with the hospital being smaller than the others he had worked in.

“We got to know the staff members on a deeper level and were able to communicate and work well together. Working in a smaller more intimate hospital makes all the difference,” he said.

Professor Hoffman qualified as an orthopaedic surgeon in 1985 and worked at Matiland Cottage from January 1987 to May 2012. Dr Horn said he was remembered for his vociferous personality and penchant for research and academics.

“Dr Hoffman established the paediatric orthopaedic care system that is still in place today, and functions faultlessly. He published many papers and is quoted in major international textbooks. The bulk of his research was performed on bone and joint infections, particularly tuberculosis, as well as traumatic injuries and other bone deformities. He is the stuff of legends and will always be referred to fondly by his ex-trainees and protègès,” she said.

Professor Hoffman said he had enjoyed his time at the hospital and he echoed Professor Sparks’s sentiment, saying he had worked well with the staff. “This is one of the most unique units in the city. There have been many changes and improvements made to the hospital over the years, and I am proud to have been part of it,” he said.

Read more:https://www.southernsuburbstatler.co.za/news/professors-honoured-26802515

Another message from a past patient.

Dear Maitland Cottage.

I a m Mr Themba Dlepu ,I have been looking this beautiful for  Maitland Cottage hospital  32 years ago, I was a patient at Maitland Cottage hospital, being in and out from Red Cross Hospital to Groote Schuur Hospital for X-tray and some test  with a Polio on both my  knees.

It was 1986, of which I made it through a couple of months at this hospital that became my home. I am 49 years old today.i only got hold of your website today I was very excited  just to see This name

I am now a family man working at Pollsmoor Prison running educational programmes  i could not have  made thus far if it  was not  guys especial doctors of the Hospital. There are many parents with children that need Hospital like this to refer their children to, but I could not know where you are or thought this Hospital has been closed.

I want to say thank you, thank you to every staff member of this amazing place, for doing such great work for me and kids all over the country.

I would love to come visit there one day, because this place is very important to my life story.

I hope you will be able to read this message and pass it on. Let the light of life continue to shine and work through every staff member and child that is in this amazing place.

May the Almighty God bless you.

Thank You

Dlepu Themba

A message from a past patient.

Thank you Tashwill America #tashwillamerica for this beautiful tribute to Maitland Cottage Hospital

Dear Maitland Cottage.

21 years ago, I was a patient at Maitland Cottage hospital, being transferred from Red Cross Hospital with a severe knee injury.

It was 1997, of which I made it through a couple of months at this hospital that became my home. I am 29 years old today, and it took me this long to get hold of you guys.

I want to say thank you to every staff member of this amazing place, for doing such great work for the kids.

Though many aren’t there no more that took care of me when I was there at the age of 7 in the year 1997. Maitland Cottage will always and still do have a very special place in my life, because a very important part of my childhood I brought through that place where I made friends and family.

I salute all of you, though I don’t remember the staff. Or the staff that is there now. May God bless you and the kids that is there.

I would love to come visit there one day, because this place is a very important part of my life story.

I hope you will be able to read this message and pass it on. Let the light of life continue to shine and work through every staff member and child that is in this amazing place.

Thank You
Tashwill America

New wheelchairs from WIZO

We are so blessed to have received 4 funky new wheelchairs from WIZO at an official handover last Wednesday. Our sincere thanks to you all at WIZO, the work you do is absolutely wonderful, thank you for choosing our hospital as one of your recipients.

Wheelchairs of Hope project is an example of Israel’s contribution to the world and tikun Olam. Thank you so much Myra Kamowitz for organizing.

Farewell to long-serving Employees


It was a mix of emotions as we said farewell to 3 of our long serving people.

Sonia de Long has been with us for 19 years, as the front face of out hospital Sonia we will miss your beautiful smile, your generosity of spirit, your gentle nature and your willingness to do anything you were asked, always with such graciousness.

Nurse B, your infectious smile , compassion and loyalty to this hospital for 38 years, is incredibly special to us all. all the children that came through our hospital truly loved you for your gentleness and love you have always shown each child. This has been your home away from home for the past 38 years. It is a wrench for you and all your friends here

Aunty Bettie, 5 years with us, cooking and serving tasty and balanced meals for our children. Always cheerful and smiling, a real part of our children’s lives, giving them love care and attention. Making sure the children gave thanks for their food before eating. You will be missed by all.

Go well ladies and enjoy every moment of your well deserved retirement .

New Operating Table for MCH

New Operating Table for MCH

Our brand new Theatre Table was delivered to Maitland Cottage Hospital last Friday.It was a momentous event at the Hospital, and the excitement spilled from Theatre over into the rest of the Hospital The old Table had become, was unsuitable for elective procedures.

 This Operating Table will align Maitland Cottage Hospital with what is current and standard at Red Cross Children’s Hospital. It will not only be safe, but will also allow us to move on efficiently to deal with elective operations.

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Club Foot Clinic

Club Foot Clinic

Did you know that at Maitland Cottage we run the largest Club Foot Clinic in Cape Town?

Every Friday Dr Stewart Dix-Peek and his team of surgeons, Orthopaedic Registrars, UCT Physio students and Orthotists attend to approximately 30 babies and toddlers. The Ponseti Method is used to treat the little patients feet

The Ponseti method is the most widely used technique in North America and throughout the world  which uses gentle stretching and casting to gradually correct the deformity. It is a manipulative technique that corrects congenital clubfoot without invasive surgery.

Our Beautiful Memory Benches



We received these beautiful benches from Shirley Tobias, owner of Art for All. Shirley has raised funds for the hospital through her various art groups.The benches were painted by Shirley’s art groups.
We would like to convey our heartfelt thanks on behalf of everyone at the hospital for the exquisitely painted benches received in memory of Jenna Lowe, Craig Brown and Natalie Cohen, who so bravely fought their illnesses and will now always be remembered at Maitland Cottage Hospital. One cannot help but think of these 3 brave young people every time one looks at these benches.

The following is from Craig, Jenna and Natalie’s mom’s.

JENNA – In 2012 teenager, Jenna Lowe, was diagnosed with an extremely rare lung disease called Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension. Even with this debilitating illness Jenna became an active campaigner to raise awareness for this degenerative, life-threatening condition. Bright, beautiful and eloquent, Jenna demonstrated exceptional leadership and courage throughout her three and half year battle with her illness and helped change the landscape of Pulmonary Hypertension in South Africa. She also made (and her legacy continues to make) a massive social impact on the dire state of organ donation in SA with her internationally acclaimed and award-winning ‪#‎Getmeto21‬ campaign that significantly increased organ donor registration.
Tragically Jenna passed away in June 2015; but her work continues.
Visit the Jenna Lowe Trust at to find out more about the incredible legacy she is leaving. www.jennalowe.org
or https://www.getmeto21.com/ to sign up as an organ donor.

NATALIE – https://www.facebook.com/nataliescircleoflove/?fref=ts
Natalie was 10 years old when she was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer that affected her spine. Her love of nature, art, reading and animals was a source of inspiration and joy throughout her difficult journey with Chordoma. She spent many months in hospital in America where she had surgery to remove 7 vertebrae from her thoracic spine and earned enormous respect for her determination to relearn to sit, stand, walk and eventually, even run! Whether she was in hospital or at home, Natalie’s space was always filled with Art & Design, some by her own creation and some gifted by Natalie’s Circle of Love – a global community inspired by her courage, grace and determination to live a creative life. Some of the happiest times were art making sessions with her friends and she especially loved visits from her much-loved art teacher, Shirley Tobias, who had a special connection with Natalie and mentored her creativity with so much love, gratitude and respect.

Towards the end of her life Natalie was drawn to dragonflies which in almost every part of the world, symbolise change and self realisation
Although a cure was not possible for Natalie, thanks to the incredible support of her Circle of Love, she experienced profound healing and a deep, enduring sense of connection that transcends her time on earth. Like the iridescent dragonfly, Natalie reflected the beauty she saw in the world and her humour, poise, personal power and creativity remain an inspiration to us all.
A photo of Natalie is attached

CRAIG – Craig was always very small in stature,but with an enormous zest for life which is why I chose the quote from Dr Seuss “A person’s a person no matter how small”, . ( He also acted in Seussical the Musical, as the baby kangaroo from “Horton Hears a Who ” , just before he was diagnosed with a brain tumour at the age of 12). He died 8 months later, a time during which his positivity,courage and sense of humour really came to the fore.

Click here to see more about this on our FB page

Obituary Mr Martin Singer 1921 – 2015

It is with great sadness that we record the death of Mr Martin Singer on 5 July this year. Mr Singer was an integral part of Maitland Cottage Home from 1956 when he started as an honorary orthopaedic surgeon, he was instrumental in the design and commissioning of the current operating theatre and served as honorary medical superintendent until 31 October 2014, a 58 year partnership. Mr Singer made an extremely significant contribution to Maitland Cottage Hospital and UCT. Mr Singer will be missed by all who knew him.

Mr Martin Singer made a significant contribution to UCT Orthopaedic Department and South African Orthopaedics for a period of almost 60 years, from the time he started in private practice in 1956 in Cape Town until his death in July this year.
At Maitland Cottage he treated mainly children with bone and joint tuberculosis and children recovering from polio.  He always had an interest in club feet and took over the club foot clinic from Ginger Keen.He worked at MCH from 1956 until he was succeeded by Prof Teddy Hoffman in 1987, i.e., 31 years.  He continued to visit the hospital weekly until his death.  Pure dedication to a place that was so very dear to him.

Although he retired in 1986, he still remained actively involved with MCH as superintendent. He was actively involved at MCH for 58 years. Mr Singer was academically involved in 35 peer review publications.  He enthusiastically encouraged all Registrars and nothing made him more happy and proud than when a paper was published or presented coming from MCH or the Hand Unit in which he was so involved. He left a legacy that is MCH.

New Ultrasound Machine

A group of our Physiotherapy interns from Amsterdam have been raising funds for a new Ultrasound machine for our physio department, through an international funding site, GOFUNDME. The Ultrasound machine assists with bone healing and pain management. It has all been very exciting as we got to the target in just 15 days of raising the necessary amount. ! We are very excited to announce that the Ultrasound Machine arrived at Maitland Cottage on 11 August.
Our physiotherapist, Zara is thrilled and our little patients are already benefitting. A huge thank you to Lia Hoensbroech Coreen Roth and Elon Perez and to all who contributed on GOFUNDME. Our gratitude is huge !!


We were given a lesson on planting seedlings

We were given a lesson on planting seedlings

Richard, our gardener, giving a lesson to some our patients on how to plant seedlings.
The boys and girls were most attentive as their teacher was going to quiz them on everything they learned.
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Ariella Cohn chooses MCH as part of her Batmitzvah Celebration

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In 2013, Ariella was diagnosed with severe Scoliosis, a condition which causes abnormal twisting and curvature of the spine.

After many consultations with various specialists, Ariella was fitted with her RSC brace which she had to wear for 2 years.  Ariella’s school principal, teachers and friends were amazing with her, accepting her situation without a question. Ariella has been wearing her brace since September 2013 and is now coming to the end of her “brace” journey.  Luckily, she does not have to wear it during the day any more but only at night.

In preparation of Ariella’s Bat Mitzvah, she and her family decided to look into ways of giving back to the community in honour of this special milestone in her Jewish life.  They looked for a charity that would resonate well with Ariella as an individual and one that would she could feel proud being a part of. Ariella wanted to give back to children whom she could help that were in a similar situation to her.

Her Paediatrician told them about THE MAITLAND COTTAGE hospital and the wonderful work they do for children with physical Orthopaedic disabilities.  Immediately, they knew, the fit was perfect. Ariella came  to visit the kids at the hospital and was most taken aback on her first few visits.  After a while, she realized that despite their disabilities, they were just kids… just like her and her friends. Ariella raised funds and collected many items donated by lots of family, friends and strangers alike.

Her mom, Lauren, made a request to  SPUR STEAK RANCHES  who jumped at the opportunity to come on board and supplied a burger, chips and cool drink to all the kids and staff at the home while King Cake Party Shop delivered 100’s of balloons to brighten up the hearts, smiles and bedsides of the kids. It was a wonderful day that will always be remembered and Ariella learnt so much from this experience. Ariella and Lauren look forward to many more days of interaction with the staff, kids and management of MAITLAND COTTAGE CHILDRENS ORTHOPAEDIC HOSPITAL.

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Annual Bridge Drive

Annual Bridge Drive

On the 14th may the Annual Bridge drive was held to raise funds. as usual a lovely day was had by all the attending bridge players, with delicious food and goodies to eat and drink and numerous prizes to be won. Thanks to all donators, to old mutual house for the venue and for the ladies who come every year to support our hospital

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Dress Up Day

Girls will be girls as some of the little ones played dolly and mummy with newly donated dress up gear…

Lots of discussion about shoes took place and general wardrobe baby talk…aren’t they too sweet?!

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Physiotherapy Garden

Last year, as the result of successful fundraising, we were able to build a physiotherapy department. Our next wish was to transform the area next to this department into a fynbos garden. Our vision was that the area becomes a place for the children to practice walking again and learn to use wheelchairs on surfaces that they would encounter in their home environments.

A keen gardener from the Netherlands, Jeannet Appel, heard about this project and spent many months researching South African plants and designing the transformation of an area covered in lawn into a colourful child friendly garden. To turn this plan into a reality she and two volunteers came to Maitland Cottage Home to “plant” the garden. In ten days of hard labour and much joviality they transformed the area into a children’s paradise. Stone paths, fruit trees, vegetables, herbs and a wide selection of mainly indigenous plants not to mention the house and “wish tent”, the transformation was amazing.

With the help of other volunteers and donors the children created colourful mosaic collages, a totem pole and painted wooden butterflies to brighten up the area.